Monday, September 26, 2005

Eddie Webb Has My Rush 2112 Album

It was sometime in the fall of 1978.

God's country...south Jackson, Tennessee.

He said he wanted to borrow it. Had this new thing called a cassette recorder - having moved away from 8-track (which was scandalous for many of us to even consider), and that he wanted to "record" it.

"Get it right back to me," he said.

My favorite album.

Rush 2112.

How many nights did I crash to side one of that album? With headphones on (and this was back when headphones were huge) I would slip into dreamland listening to "Temples of Syrinx" and "Oracles: The Dream."

A masterpiece of rock opera too often ignored by devotees of "Tommy" (which ain't bad, by the way).

But man, Neil Peart on the drums...are you kidding me?

With some reluctance, I did it. I "loaned" my Rush album to Eddie Webb. He was a senior, I was a freshman. I figured, "hey, couldn't hurt my never ending attempt to appear cool to the upperclassmen," and that longing was something he could smell like blood in the water.

Eddie was an alright guy.


Long hair.

Dripped "cool," and he knew it.

The chicks dug him.

So if I could get close to that, by association, therefore... you get logic was worthy of Mr. Spock.

Except for this one thing...

You know what you call things that belong to you when placed in the hands of someone who has power over you?


He never returned it. Later in the spring of '79 as my family was preparing to move to Memphis, I, sheepishly, asked him for my album.

He did the old, " I gave it back to you didn't I?"


"Well, I'm sure I did."

So much for Rush 2112.

We live with a complexity of relationships too often guided by underlying agendas. I had something I was hoping to gain from doing somebody a "favor." He just saw it as a way to get what he wanted. And from the position of power he held over me, he got it, and I was left without what was mine in the first place.

Too much of life is lived wanting to please, hoping to impress, trying to appear as anything other than people not at ease with ourselves - and willing to do anything to mask who we are.

Part of living a life of faith, it seems to me, is to accept who we are in the face of what we're called to be. And getting from point A to B, is the journey. For those of us who claim faith in Jesus of Nazareth, there is this journey to be taken as empowerment. What's that scripture say? "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

One of empowerment's definitions is - "to promote the self-actualization or influence of. "

Those who are empowered are self-actualized to respond to power's abuses whenever and wherever they occur. A person of faith, under the influence of Holy Boldness gains the perspective of justice through the eyes of the One who empowers them.

And that justice, biblically speaking, is about a redistribution of power. The reason the Western Church too often dismisses out of hand the Liberation Theology of the 3rd world is because it puts them on notice..."if your wanderlust for power and consumerism continues at the expense of others, you're about to fall."

Really, who around here wants to hear that? Didn't God bless me with what I have? Can't I just love Jesus and do with what's mine whatever I please?

But hold on. If you want to go there, consider this - John Wesley was clear on this point. You have what you have not to hoard, but to share with those who don't have. He would go on to say that if you're not sharing fully all you have (because it's not yours in the first place, it all belongs to God), then you are robbing those without with what is rightfully theirs - and that is, what God has placed in your hands to give them.

Would that we could embrace an empowered life. Would that we were no longer slave to the crippling fear as we witness the misappropriations of power by those who take advantage of the powerless. Would that our silence in the face of such injustice be shattered by the voices of advocacy for those whose cries are dismissed.

Would that empowered disciples of Jesus stand in the Temples of this world and say, "Repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand."

A wishdream? Probably. But this one thing I know. If I ever run into Eddie Webb again, I'm going tell him to give me my damn album back.

And of course he won't have it.

So I'll settle for the newly remastered CD.

Gotta keep up, don't you know!


Tiberius said...

Hey Johnny J... I've got the CD if you want a copy.

Just promise to give it back...

Johnny Jeffords said...

Heck no, dude, I want my own!